Looking for alternative sources of lighting for my current worldbuilding project so I couldn't help but wonder if a bioluminescent plant-based lifeforms could be realistically feasible. I'm just looking for simple but primitive way to give my imaginary people/characters a source of light in the Darkness of night-time.
Schistostega pennata is a luminous moss that grows in the darkness of caves and gives off light as a greenish-gold glow. It is not enough light to see by but it is strong enough to guide someone's way.
There also exist bioluminescent protists (plant-like organisms), fungi, and bacteria. Plus a few other plants.
If your world has genetic engineering (or did in its past), there can be even more plants that glow, perhaps more strongly than existing ones.
Perhaps what will work for you is to take a plant like Schistostega and tweak it a bit with magic to glow more brightly.
Plants would have difficulty to obtain the concentrated excess energy required for, say, 1 watt light output. More viable are fungi or animals that can get the energy by respiration (burning oxygen). They will require feeding and care, like any carefully bred creature.
Plants that concentrate Carbon-14 in their leaves.
As radioactive material tend to glow in the dark, radium,
plutonium or many other would do the job.
Then, the said plant would have to cope the radiation, but well … If earth lifeform are able to deal with UV and insane oxygen concentration, I'm sure your magic vegetal can survive this.
Edit: You can get info about radioluminescent paint there: